Spirituality and Mindfulness
A student asked me for my thoughts on her next steps of her spiritual journey, how to merge the two worlds , (i.e the spiritual and physical) and what she could do next to continue in the direction of healing. It prompted me to think about all the steps along my own journey, one which continues to unfold and I am sure is a lifelong work in progress. Although each one of us has a unique path to take, I do believe that there is one fundamental practice that applies to all of us if we want to live life to the fullest!
I remembered that when I began to work with energy/spirit, any form of what you might call “vibrational or spiritual work”, finding balance between the two worlds was really challenging. Particularly in the beginning, because it feels so amazing to be 'up there' or 'out there', for many of us its so easy to forget all about the physical body, its function and purpose in our progression. Like a drug, we become accustomed and addicted to being out of our bodies, connected to what we believe is an external force that can 'save us'. The reason we disconnect from our body is because this is where we store our pain and where our unheard emotions live. So of course on some level this is a choice we make to protect ourselves from feeling our discomfort, but ironically its also the way to avoid healing! I soon realised that re-connecting the mind and body was a fundamental principle for anyone to reach deeper wisdom and harmony. It was no where near enough simply to connect with higher levels of consciousness 'out there', to call in Angels or Spirit Guides; whilst of course these spiritual energies can and do bring in miracles, the real transformation comes when you align your mind and body as one, so you can harness the power of your own consciousness, that which dwells within the body itself. I personally had to work really hard to be well grounded and to maintain a solid connection with the present moment. Learning how to re-connect my body and emotions, and spending time grounding in nature were core - without it my healing journey would have been seriously blocked! It dawned on me that this of course has a name we can all recognise and is called MINDFULNESS!
I truly believe that mindful awareness practices are the biggest step anyone can take for their own progression and well being on every level. By living mindfully I have a greater understanding and appreciation for my body itself, and an expanded awareness that what I think and believe directly drives and shapes my experience. This is such an empowering reality to recognise. Mindfulness helps to give you back the reigns and to choose how you perceive the world in any given moment. By seeing the minds narrative, we make the link between our thoughts and unnecessary suffering. Our thoughts can work consciously with us, serving our deeper self and bringing healing and peace; or if we live un-mindfully, repetitive unhelpful thought patterns will drive behaviour and control the emotional and physical experience that we call 'our life'. It sounds very simple but it is the biggest truth I know so far: my breath is my new best friend: the vehicle for staying present, grounded in the now and open to new perception and realities.
One of the many wonders I have experienced is that there is so much amazing healing to access within this space of awareness and these are all innate! We search for teachers and proven methods that will offer us new ways to nourish our soul and teach us how to re-shape our health and our world. And the teachers we meet are undoubtedly great catalysts bringing us many gifts. But we often overlook that the most knowledgeable teacher we can possibly find is ourselves, our life and our own personal challenges. Through mindfulness practices we learn for ourselves how to tap into the wisdom of our higher self, access a space of healing, peace and love.
Over the last few years I have explored different groups, methods and practices of what might be labelled ‘the spiritual world’ or ‘spiritual circles’ in an effort to become enlightened or awakened. I have come to realise that a great deal of importance is given to connecting ‘upwards’ and outwards to this invisible unseen world that holds all the answers. In so many 'mainstream spiritualist' practices, we are very often taught to look to the heavens, to connect to a spiritual world of wisdom above us and beyond us and it certainly feels divine. However there is rarely any mention of connecting ‘inwards’ to ourselves and to our amazing bodies, or ‘downwards’ to mother earth. Our power lies in balancing the heavens and the earth, through our physical body, and nature itself is a wonderful guide and healer. If you look at the natural world she knows just what to do to grow and flourish, she changes with the seasons of life and flows effortlessly. We are taught in school from a very young age that life is about survival of the fittest, but if we look to nature for her wisdom, we see that survival and growth comes actually from co-operation and a sharing of resources so all can be sustained and all can grow. We could do with adopting this mentality ourselves!
Connecting through our physical bodies to earth is vital if we want to re-connect with our true self and create harmony and well being. We do not need to keep looking to the spiritual gurus or other realms for the answers. Not only do we have access to the heavens within every cell of our being and body, but through simple mindfulness we can find the answers to all we seek.
So going to back to the original question, and for anyone wanting to bring more healing and clarity to their life, all I can say is seeking to know ourselves inside out is an integral, and I would actually say critical and imperative piece of the puzzle. My biggest growth and wisdom has come as a result of walking my path of personal self discovery, understanding the way I think and behave, welcoming in lifes experiences with open arms and saying good bye to old habits. We ALL have the ability to look at our lens of perception and make way for expansion and acceptance. Its from this space that springs the clarity, self compassion, healing, love and immense peace that we are all searching for. And along the way if we can share what we have learnt with those around us, we create a much happier, healthier and sustainable earth, where harmony and peace become the natural state of being.